Intervention Program reduces aggressivity and social isolation in students with ADHD

The symptomatology of Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can be improved through appropriate neuropsychological intervention programs focused on attention control and reflexivity. This is the main conclusion of a new study conducted by researchers from Universidad Internacional de La Rioja (UNIR), Universidad de Granada, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and Universidade Portucalense.

  27h April 2017. Carlos Fernández-Alameda.- Researchers have found that, after the intervention program, teachers and parents have indicated remarkable improvements in different symptoms. Almost a half of the students (47,7%) have reduced their aggressivity in the classroom, according to the teachers. And 35,3% of them demonstrated less social isolation at home, parents reported.

The study has been conducted in a cohort of 26 Spanish primary school children affected by ADHD, their parents and professors. None of these students were on medication at the time of the study. For example, on the aggressivity scale, 17 subjects showed a decreased score after the program and only two of the students showed a higher score.

Improvements in all fields

“They can improve at a number of skills such as anticipation, reflexivity, communication, and self-esteem. It can be helpful to express what is happening to themselves without frustration”, said Yoana Campeño-Martínez, leading researcher of the article and professor from Universidad Internacional de La Rioja (UNIR).

En España la incidencia del TDAH alcanza al 6,6% de los alumnos. / Oksana Mizina (Shutterstock)
The results of this research have been published in Mind, Brain and Education Journal.

Researchers have used the Magallanes Screening Scale for Attention Deficits and Other Developmental Problems in Children (EMA-DDA) as an evaluation tool and the Educational Intervention Program to Increase Attention and Reflexivity (EIP-AR), as a model for neuropsychological intervention.

Teachers and parents have evaluated items like aggressivity, attention deficit without hyperactivity, attention deficit with hyperactivity, social isolation and anxiety before and after the program. One of the most relevant findings is that the context in which symptoms are evaluated changes in each case. Teachers tended to give the children higher scores in attention deficit symptoms than the parents.

Differences between contexts

“Socialization in the classroom is affected by the interaction in a group of equals, so the prevalence of aggressivity is higher. That is the reason behind the changes reported by teachers. In a home context all the students, irrespective of whether or not they have ADHD, experience a change of behavior”, Yoana Campeño-Martínez has explained to the Science Dissemination Unit from UNIR.

The scientists involved in this study recognizes that more research would be needed to clarify the child behavior changes according to context as well as about the efficacy of this intervention program in larger groups of students and in combination with medical treatments. “We consider a collaborative approach of clinic-home-school to foster better results”, explained Esperanza Vergara (UNIR) and Enrique Navarro (UCM and UNIR).

The results of this research have been published in Mind, Brain and Education Journal.


Reference: Campeño‐Martínez, Yoana, Santiago‐Ramajo, Sandra, Navarro‐Asencio, Enrique, Vergara‐Moragues, Esperanza, & Santiuste Bermejo, Víctor. (2017). Efficacy of an Intervention Program for Attention and Reflexivity in Children With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Mind, Brain, and Education.


About the Vice-chancellorship for Knowledge Transfer & Technology

The Vice-chancellorship for Knowledge Transfer & Technology ( focuses on enhancing the life-cycle of research and innovation projects. It is seeking a practical application of results of these projects in the life of the university, such as personalization of the learning process, improved academic performance or adaptation of teaching methodology. It develops public, private and self-funded projects for the various branches of knowledge of UNIR. From the design, implementation and evaluation, to the practical implementation, exploitation, dissemination, positioning and transfer of the results obtained, with special emphasis on international projects, under the brand UNIR Research. It also focuses on technological aspects that enhance the learning experience, teaching, mentoring and management context and the educational process of the university, in coordination with the other units involved.

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